Have you heard about Ryanair's new "optional" £5 seat charge?
Good old Ryanair. The airline we loved to hate has turned over a new leaf of late, with a shiny new website, customer-friendlier policies like allocated seating and even a slightly nicer attitude from the Chief Exec. But it seems Ryanair are up to their old hidden-charges tricks, with last month’s changes to the online check-in set to make the airline a fortune as we head into holiday season.
From 8 April, passengers who do not wish to pay £5/€5 to select their own (non-priority) seat can now only check in 7 days prior to the flight. On first glance this seems a bit meh, after all, who checks in 30 days before their flight? And if you are popping over to the continent for a weekend break, you probably won’t notice much difference.
However, if you are using a Ryanair flight for a holiday, you might be dismayed to find you are landed with an extra charge. The shiny new website will not let you check-in for your return flight if that is more than 7 days away. So if you are going for a week you are stuffed unless your holiday accommodation comes with a boarding card printer.
Of course, like all Ryanair extra fees, this one isn’t compulsory. If you don’t have access to a printer while away, but you can still check in online before your return, they will instead just charge you £15/€15 to print one for you. If you don’t have internet access, they will charge you £70/€70 to check you in- all per person, per flight. Makes the £5/€5 a seat allocated seating charge seem like a bargain.
Ryanair’s terms and conditions do make reference to a mobile boarding pass, which would, presumably, allow you to check in on your phone and then just wave your phone boarding pass at a reader. However, this is only available to “certain customers” for an additional fee, which is supposed to be specified in its list of fees. Except it isn’t. Glad we’re all about being transparent now lads.
Better make sure you’ve a spare fiver then.